Wednesday, October 02, 2013


Taking the Head Fake

I admit that I did not do very well with my prediction about the final episode of Breaking Bad. I believed he regained a purpose after seeing Elliot and Gretchen on TV dis his contribution to Grey 
Matter and that purpose was revenge. How wrong was I. However, I was missing some information and as neatly as the final episode tied up loose ends it never let us know what caused Walt to leave suddenly Gretchen's parents' place and buy out of the company for a pittance. Did he feel cheated or was it personal, an affaire de coeur? Nobody knows.

This guy at the NYT gets it. Money quote:

The finale circled back to Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, Walt’s former partners at Gray Matter. Walt broke into their mansion and cleverly blackmailed the couple into providing his children with the millions he couldn’t give them directly. And it was a delicious scene: When Elliott fearfully brandished a small blade, Walt said gently, “Elliott if we’re going to go that way, you’ll need a bigger knife.”

But the show never fully spelled out why Walt broke away from Gretchen and Elliott in the first place.

There were hints throughout the series. On several occasions, Walt accused them of cheating him out of his share; that bitterness seemingly helped steer him into his life of crime. But it wasn’t clear that his version was correct — in an episode where they confront each other at a restaurant, Gretchen said that Walt left her without any explanation. And the true story never came out.

“Breaking Bad” brilliantly tracked Walt’s transformation from teacher to criminal mastermind. But it’s still a mystery why that talented chemist turned his back on fame and fortune and became a humble high school chemistry teacher.

That is one secret Walter White took to the grave.

I also thought they'd let Todd survive just to mess with our sense of justice, in order to be an anti-Hollywood ending. Sorry to say, Hollywood is a very powerful and pervasive influence. Not that I liked Todd or any of the neo-Nazis for that matter.

This paragraph from the NYT is also a hidden criticism of the show, usually more realistic about Walt's abilities.

Then again, the episode began with Walter still alive but already a ghost, walking in and out of secured mansions, public diners and even Skyler’s house undetected, almost as if invisible.


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